Have you noticed how, in the past few years, it seems like everyone has vastly different dietary needs?
I get that we each have a unique body chemistry. I understand and respect that often our food choices are based on varying cultural and ethical biases too. Choosing what we eat and do not eat is one of the most basic ways we form our identities.
Except sometimes on holidays it can be a pain to find a dish to please all our guests when omnivores and vegans celebrate among the gluten-free and pescatarian.
Sometimes I just want to throw my hands in the air in despair over what to feed my diverse group of guests.
I’ve made some progress for this Thanksgiving though. I found a healthy, festive and tasty dish that just about everyone can not only eat, but enjoy.
And it doesn’t involve any actual cooking, so it’s super easy too!
Cranberry Apple Salad is the ideal holiday dish and perfect for potlucks. Here’s all you need to make it:
Cranberry Apple Salad
1 bag of fresh, whole cranberries
1 cup of sugar, or equivalent sweetener of your choice. I have been using coconut palm sugar lately with good results.
5 large, organic apples. Choose the kind you like or mix it up with a variety.
1 cup of chopped walnuts. If someone is allergic to nuts, leave them out—no one will ever know the difference.
Optional Whipped Cream Topping
1 can of full-fat coconut milk, well-chilled
1 tsp vanilla
Sugar or sweetener to taste
Wash and sort through the cranberries. Pick out any mushy berries or stem pieces. Place the raw cranberries in a blender or food processor until they are finely chopped. You want them to resemble a coarse relish—not a puree.
Pour the chopped berries into a big glass bowl and add the sugar. This may seem like a lot of sugar, however, raw cranberries are extremely bitter and tart. Start with a half cup and taste, adding more sugar until you get it sweet enough for your taste. Stir, cover, and let the berries sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Before serving, dice the apples into bite sized pieces. There is no need to peel them. Mix the diced apples and chopped walnuts (if using) into the cranberry mixture.
Serve cold or at room temperature. Makes a delicious side dish or dessert.
You may serve the salad plain or topped with whipped cream. If you and your guests eat dairy, make homemade whipped cream with organic, grass-fed heavy cream and spread on top of the salad.
To make an even yummier, dairy-free whipped cream, take the well-chilled can of coconut milk out of the refrigerator and open it. Drain off any liquid that has not solidified.
Place the solid coconut fat into a mixing bowl with vanilla and sweetener (I use maple syrup because it’s not grainy like sugar). Beat with a whisk or electric mixer until it’s light and fluffy like whipped cream. Spread on top of the salad and enjoy!
Wishing everyone an abundantly healthy and joyful Thanksgiving!
Author: Victoria Fedden
Image: Larm Rmah/Unsplash
Editor: Nicole Cameron